A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that she had lost her phone. She has been looking for it for a couple days. Hopefully, by the time I finish writing this post and get up, she will have found it!
It can really be frustrating when things get lost. It’s even more frustrating when you look everywhere you can think, and you still can’t find it. If you have small children who share your home, you must learn to think like a toddler if you want to find your missing item. Maybe it’s your phone, maybe your car keys or wallet. Maybe it’s the keys to the tractor. So, for those of you who are lucky enough to have a toddler or preschooler living in your home, I’ve put together a list of the strangest places I’ve ever found my missing items…maybe it will help you locate that long-lost set of house keys!
1. The dishwasher
Thoroughly inspect every crevice of your dishwasher. Look on the inside, look on the outside. Check inside that little hollow area right under the door handle. Bear hid my phone in that little hollow once. I searched and searched for my phone. It disappeared on a Friday afternoon. We looked all weekend, but we couldn’t find it. I was pregnant with Monkey at the time, and we decided it would probably be a bad idea for me to be alone at the house without a phone. So, Monday morning, I loaded the girls into the car, and went to purchase a new phone. All was once again right, and I had learned that I should keep my phone up in a higher location! A few months later, we were giving the dishwasher a thorough cleaning. I saw something weird in the gap underneath the handle. I got a pair of kitchen tongs and managed to pull it out. There it was…my long lost phone…found months too late. It even still worked! It became a decoy phone for the kids to play with. It’s still wandering around the toy boxes to this very day.
2. A child’s play purse…
…that is inside a stuffed animal backpack all crammed down together in the bottom of a dress-up box. I can’t make this stuff up! One of our dear children once absconded with the tractor keys. For a week, my husband had to hotwire the tractor if he needed it (it just happened to be that time of the year when it was needed…often). Daddy was mad! We looked all around the tractor for the lost keys. We knew one of the kids was responsible for the disappearance, but we weren’t sure which one…though we had our suspicions that it was Lizard. We really thought they had been dropped outside somewhere, so we searched the entire yard. I had the kids out searching every day. One day, I had the girls inside cleaning their room, which looked like a scene from some sort of natural disaster stricken area. Bear pulled out the backpack. She looked inside, and pulled out the purse. Lizard looked up and said, “Oh! I wondered where this was!” Then Lizard grabbed the purse and looked inside, wondering what sort of long-forgotten treasure she would find there. Her face was priceless. She looked up at me, and back down into the purse and sheepishly pulled out the tractor keys. “I forgot!” was all she said. Then, she started laughing hysterically. We showed Daddy, who was still a bit irritated, but glad to have the keys back.
3. A bag of flour
This is one of Rhino’s favorite places to hide things. Of course, being a family of seven, we don’t ever get the small bag. Oh no…we buy the 25 pound bag. I’ve pulled phones, keys, and toys out of the bag of flour. It’s at that perfect height that just invites little hands to investigate! Plus, it’s in a bag that’s in a box under the cabinet. The multiple containers make it extra fun!
4. Inside a table
This is Rhino’s other favorite place to hide things. But, inside a table? How does a small child put things inside a table? Well, we have two tables that have an inside. One is the coffee table. It’s on wheels, so he can push it around the living room. The top opens so that ideally, you can store blankets or magazines or books…whatever you need accessible but out of site. It also has doors on the sides so you can access the inside that way. Rhino likes to put things in the top, then locate them in the blanket stack from the side. It’s a fun game…until something gets lost in the folds of a blanket. Then, the mystery can quickly become a tragedy…especially if no one saw him put the item inside the table. We looked for his “nice” for days once. His nice is a little blanket that he always sleeps with. We finally found it inside the coffee table, wrapped up in another, much larger blanket.
We have another table that folds up and stands against the wall most of the time. It only comes out when we have company and need extra seating at meal time. The chairs for the table fold and are stored inside the table. There’s a little door on each side that opens so that the chairs can be removed. It’s a neat little table that has been with me since my college apartment-dwelling days. Since the children came along, though, many a small item has turned up inside that little table, sometimes fallen between the cracks in the folded chairs.
5. In the tupperware drawer
We were visiting my parents a year or so ago. Rhino was toddling about with his sippy cup most of the afternoon. When dinner time came, he was very thirsty, and really wanted some juice. But, no one could find his cup. We looked everywhere! Still, no cup. We finally caved and got out a fresh cup for dinner, but we still needed to find it before we left. We didn’t want to forget the cup (we only keep a couple at home), and I’m sure my mom didn’t want to find the cup months later…no one enjoys that kind of surprise!
The next day, I happened to open the tupperware drawer (looking for something else, but still unfamiliar with they lay-out of my parents’ new kitchen), which was one of the lowest drawers in the kitchen. Again, it was the perfect height for little hands to explore! Low and behold, there was something bright orange showing from an upside-down stack of Ziploc containers (or possibly Gladware…who can tell!). The color caught my eye, since everything else was clear plastic. It was also odd for the stack to be in the drawer upside down. So, I lifted the overturned stack, and there it was…the missing sippy cup! Found at last. We were all relieved.
So, if you ever find yourself missing an item and you have little ones in the house, think like a toddler. Look inside of stuff that’s inside of something else! Your mom may have told you to look where you left it, or maybe to retrace your steps. “It didn’t grow legs and walk off!” Well, the moral of the story here is…maybe it did! It just have grown some pint-sized legs and walked somewhere strange…somewhere strange and exciting-to a toddler anyway!